Top Ten Tuesday: Last 4 and 5 Star Reads

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

10 Of My Most Recent 5 Star Reads

I’ve been trying to only 5 star favorites recently, so I’m going to split this up into my last three 5 star reads and last seven 4 star reads (because these are close favorites). I’m also excluding rereads. As you probably know, I don’t use the 5-star system on my blog, so I’m going by what I rated these books on Goodreads.


Even Dogs in the Wild by Ian Rankin | I didn’t review this one on my blog, but if you are somehow unaware of my love of Ian Rankin and his books, I LOVED THIS BOOK.

A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig | See above

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner | My review


My Seventh-Grade Life in Tights by Brooks Benjamin | Review soon

Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley | See above

The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig | My review

The First Time She Drowned by Kerry Kletter | My review

Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman | My review

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs | I didn’t review this one yet, but I was not disappointed at all. Strange, enchanting, and creepy.

Winter by Marissa Meyer | I AM SO BEHIND ON MY REVIEWS OMG. Perfect conclusion to the series.

What was your last 5 star read?


The Serpent King | Book Playlist

If you’ve been following my blog and/or me on Twitter, you’ve probably seen me
rave/cry/scream/word-vomit/profess my love for Jeff Zentner’s debut The Serpent King by Jeff ZentnerTHE SERPENT KING, which came out this month! (And if you’ve somehow missed that word-vomit, check out my review of the book.) I can sum it up for you though: I LOVE THIS BOOK AND YOU SHOULD ALL READ IT. 🙂

I saw an interview that Jeff did recently where he said that Chvrches’ song “Tether” really represents the feelings of the book. I’d heard the song before but I listened to it again with TSK in mind, and oh man, it’s perfect. So I asked Jeff if he’d put together a playlist of the book and if I could share it on my blog. He had, so of course, I’m sharing it here! I’ve listened to it and I’m pretty obsessed. I think I might have to listen to it when I reread TSK in the future because it really does represent the book well. Which isn’t really a surprise since Jeff is also a musician (one of his songs is even on the playlist).

But first: I asked Jeff to describe himself in 6 words and THE SERPENT KING in 6 words, and they are so good.

JEFF: Generally good dude who makes stuff.

THE SERPENT KING: Throwing off chains; paving new roads. 

Enjoy the playlist!

Have you read THE SERPENT KING (if not, what are you doing?)? What do you think of the playlist? 

Add THE SERPENT KING on Goodreads!

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Author-photo-jacketJeff Zentner lives in Nashville, Tennessee. He came to writing through music, starting his creative life as a guitarist and eventually becoming a songwriter. He’s released five albums and appeared on recordings with Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, Warren Ellis, Thurston Moore, Debbie Harry, Mark Lanegan, and Lydia Lunch, among others.

Now he writes novels for young adults. He became interested in writing for young adults after volunteering at the Tennessee Teen Rock Camp and Southern Girls Rock Camp. As a kid, his parents would take him to the library and drop him off, where he would read until closing time. He worked at various bookstores through high school and college.

ARC Review: The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

The Serpent King by Jeff ZentnerAuthor:  Jeff Zentner

Genre: Young adult, contemporary

Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: March 8, 2016

384 pages, hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

NOTE: I was provided with an ARC of this book from the author because he’s a wonderful human being.

Do you ever read a book so good that when you turn the last page, you just clutch it to your chest and hold it for a bit? And how often do you realize, as you hold the book, that you’ve just read something that has now firmly positioned itself on your favorites shelf? That’s The Serpent King for me.

I haven’t had this much of an emotional reaction to a book in a long time. I mean, I full-on sobbed at one point. I literally had to get up from the table (I was on my lunch break at work) and LEAVE the building to get some fresh air. The Serpent King is one that will stick with you for a long time, and it’s been months since I read it and I still can’t get it out of my head. It’s beautiful, heartbreaking, real (SO real), and absolutely lovely.

I don’t want to go into the specifics of the plot because I think you should just read it, but I do want to mention the characters. I think it’s the mark of a great author when the characters they create feel like they could walk out of the book and shake your hand. I could relate to all three of the main characters – Lydia, Dill, and Travis – in different ways. Jeff has perfectly captured Lydia’s desire to move, to get out into the world, and leave everything she’s ever known. Travis’ passion and love of his favorite book series will resonate with all of us. And with Dill? What it means to be human.

The bottom line: Read this book to meet characters that feel like real people. Read this book because we’ve all fought for the hope of a better life. Read this book to feel – alive, human, hopeful, heartbroken. Read this book because you’re human.

Cold Weather Happiness #3: Mini Mississippi Bonfire Night

cold weather happiness

Every Sunday during fall and winter (hopefully), I’m going to post what I’m calling “Cold Weather Happiness” – this could be anything from a song to a quote, a picture to a post about a person, lyrics to a description of a favorite place, anything that will remind me to be happy, to fight through the cold, dark place my mind goes to sometimes and remember that it’s not always like this. Read the full description in my first post.

Mini Mississippi Bonfire Night

As most of you know by now, I lived in Scotland for over a year while I got my Masters degree. You might have heard of this celebration that happens every year on November 5 called Guy Fawkes Night or Bonfire Night. If you haven’t heard of the actual celebration, you’ve probably heard the poem/verse, which was made pretty famous in Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta:

Remember, remember!
The fifth of November,
The Gunpowder treason and plot;
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!

Anyway, Guy Fawkes Night/Bonfire Night is a yearly celebration of the night that King James I survived the attempt to blow up parliament. People light big ol’ bonfires, there’s sometimes fireworks and usually lots of drinking. It’s a lot of fun, but since I’m back in Mississippi, I had to improvise a bit. I lit my own little fire, had a nice cup of coffee, and finished reading an incredible book (in case you’re wondering, it was The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner). I had a great evening with my parents around the fire, and though I missed the UK something fierce, I’m glad I got to have a mini bonfire night.

Bonfire Night

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on My Fall TBR

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard     Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, Deborah Biancotti     The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner     Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman     Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Truthwitch // Zeroes // The Serpent King // Blackhearts // Illuminae

The Nest by Kenneth Oppel     Dreamstrider by Lindsay Smith     An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir     Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman     Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

The Nest // Dreamstrider // An Ember in the Ashes // Legacy of Kings // Daughter of Smoke and Bone

What books will you read this fall?

Top Ten Tuesday: Last Ten Books That Came Into My Possession

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

Last Ten Books That Came Into My Possession (bought, library, review copies)

In no particular order, mostly because I can’t remember in which order I got these. All titles linked to Goodreads.

Court of Fives by Kate Elliott     Hunter by Mercedes Lackey     The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner     The Darkest Minds by Alexandrra Bracken     Between the Notes by Sharon Huss Roat

Court of Fives by Kate Elliott – from publisher, thanks again The Novl!
Hunter by Mercedes Lackey – from Emma because she’s awesome
The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner– from the author; follow him on Twitter! His book publishes next year!
The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken – from Kelly for a trade
Between the Notes by Sharon Huss Roat – from the library

The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan     Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins     Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures     Tales from the Arabian Nights translated by Sir Richard Francis Burton     Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan – from Jo who got the book signed for me and mailed it across the ocean!
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins – from OTSP Secret Sister, Mariah, signed by the author. It says, “Cricket is yours.” !!!!!!
Pip Barlett’s Guide to Magical Creatures – from Xander for a trade
Tales from the Arabian Nights translated by Sir Richard Francis Burton – bought, recommended by Renee Ahdieh
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon – from April just because she’s super kind

If you couldn’t tell, I’m trying not to buy books for a while, but I still keep getting amazing books from author people. Oops. Thank you again to all of the wonderful people who’ve either sent me books just because or because I’ve traded with you. You are all awesome.